The Pub Governing Body (PGB) has said it has seen continued engagement with pub companies and a welcome boost in the number of business development managers (BDMs) completing training, increasing from 63% in 2015 to 86% in 2016.

The PGB’s third annual audit of pub companies holding in excess of 100 pub leasehold agreements in England and Wales also shows the number of rent reviews completed within 12 months falling to 60%, although this could be explained by the changes in the market where pubs are being sold or converted from leases into tenancy agreements or managed houses.

In total, there were 21 referrals to the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) regarding rentals and one lease renewal. There were 27 enquiries to the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS) from tenants.

PGB chairman Sir Peter Luff said: “The results of this year’s annual report underlines the crucial role the Pub Governing Body continues to play following the implementation of the Statutory Code for Pubs. Two years ago, we raised concerns around the issue of BDM training and it is very encouraging to see a considerable boost in the number of BDMs completing training.

“It has also been encouraging to see lessees continue to engage with PIRRS and PICAS and an increase in the number of resolved complaints within the set timescale to 70%, closer to the 2014 high of 74.9%. PIRRS and PICAS represent a convenient, cost-effective method of dispute resolution for licensees and the PGB continues to play an active and valuable part in the self-regulation of the sector.”